Remember last week, when many in Panther nation fretted that Christian McCaffrey was catching ball too much and not running enough, especially between the tackles?
Well, all that changed in Sunday’s 31-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. McCaffrey busted big run after big run against a Bengals defense that never could stop him.
McCaffrey had 28 carries for a career-high 184 yards.
Meanwhile, the Bengals had to play the second half without star receiver A.J. Green, who went out with a groin injury, and Cincinnati never could get its run game going. Gio Bernard ran 12 times for 61 yards.
McCaffrey didn’t have any issues running the ball. He was so good that he outshone Panthers QB Cam Newton, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for two in the win. Newton won his seventh straight home start.
Carolina’s defense wasn’t quite back to looking the squad that completely shut down Dallas in Week 1, but the Panthers forced a few turnovers and got a few key stops to improve to 2-1 for the season.
Reserve lineman Efe Obada, a former practice players with the Saints and Falcons who grew up in London, was a big part of that. Obada had a sack and an interception and probably earned himself future playing time.
▪ One play that made this .game a little harder. Cam Newton scrambled late in the fourth quarter on third down and was tackled at the Bengals 32. That would have been well within Graham Gano’s field goal range, and a potential 31-21 lead. But Newton was called for unsportsmanlike penalty for sticking the ball into the belly of a Bengals defender.
The Panthers got the second interception of the game from Donte Jackson to just a few plays later, and eventually added the game-clinching Gano field goal.
Social media reaction was, obviously, very positive.